Muslim Rule in India

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Offline Shamim Ansary

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Muslim Rule in India
« on: July 18, 2010, 02:56:03 PM »
The Slaves, Khilijis, Tughluqs, and the Mughals conquered the Indian territories and ruled the country.

When wars were fought between the Hindu kings, the Islam gathered on the Western horizon. In the eighth century when Sindh was Islamicized, Peshawar came under Islam. Though Mahmud of Ghazni conquered Punjab, Mtiltan came under Islam. The Afghan chiefs raided Indian cities not with the aim of spreading Islam but for plundering treasures. The raid of Mahmud`s raid on Somnath in 1022-26 was the most terrible of these plundering expeditions. Though Muhammad Ghuri was ruthless. In 1191, he lost the first battle of Tarain but won the second in the year 1192.

India was open to the attack of Islam. A series of tragedies followed in the history of India during this period. In 1193 both Delhi and Bihar and in 1197, Ajmer fell under Islam. Thousands of unarmed Buddhist monks were killed. All the sacred books of the Buddhists were destroyed to ashes.

The Muslim Rule in IndiaIn 1202 Muhammad Khilji overran East Bengal, which was a Muslim state. Delhi became the capital of the sultanate and from there expeditions were sent out to vanquish the ill-fated Indians to Islam. In 1301, the Muslims destroyed the Rajput fortress and mercilessly killed its defender Amir Deva was killed. The virtuous Hindu women bravely surrendered to the flames than becoming slaves of the invaders. Malwa and Ujjain fell in 1305. In 1310-11, the eunuch Kafur plundered the Hindu kingdoms of Warangal and Hoysala. He returned to Delhi with countless treasures and became the favorite of the Sultan. In1297, Gujarat was conquered but was never completely Islamicized and hence became an independent sultanate. In 1347, Zafar Khan founded the Bahmanid dynasty at Daulatabad and later Kashmir was seized. Some of the Muslim leaders who were mere bandits set themselves as petty sultans in the remaining parts of India. They quarreled among themselves just like the Hindu rajas and as a result India was open to attacks from outside. The first invaders who landed from outside were the Mongols under Jengiz Khan. They plundered whole of Western Punjab and later sacked Lahore, Sindh and Multan. During the battle with the Mongols, the prince of Delhi was killed. The Mongols raided Punjab again in 1296, 1297 and 1299. In the last year, the Mongols were defeated near Delhi.

After a century (in 1398) Timur Lang, the descendent of Jengiz Khan stormed into India and took Multan. He defeated Mahmud Tughluq, the Sultan of Delhi and massacred thousands. Several people were carried off as slaves to build his mighty capital. In 1405, the cruel reign of Timur came to an end with his death. It took as long as 45 years for a good organizer to rule Delhi. In 1451, Buhlul Khan was proclaimed as the Sultan of Delhi.he founded the Lodi dynasty of Afghan origin. After his death in 489, he was succeeded by his son Sikander (1489-1517). Later, he was succeeded by his son Ibrahim, who had to face a new invader who claimed to be a descendant of Timur. Babur, the King of Kabul, crushed Ibrahim in 1526 at Paniput, which was one of the famous battles in Indian history. Babur not only became the Sultan of Delhi, but he called himself as Padishah, which means the emperor. He founded the famous dynasty of the Mughal emperors.

Babur was known as `the Tiger` and before his death he defeated the rulers of Rajput, Chanderi, Bihar and Bengal. After his death, his son Humayun had trouble in defending the empire against Shere Khan. Unfortunately, Shere Khan defeated him in 1539 and in 1540. Humayun found refuge at the court of Shah of Iran, who sent an army with him to reconquer his empire. After Shere`s death in 1545, Humayun succeeded to his throne. In 1556, Humayun died and the consolidation of his empire was left to his son Akbar. He had a very tolerant attitude and hence retained all the temples. Later, he was succeeded by his son Jahangir (1605-1626) who was in his turn succeeded by his son Shah- Jahan (1626-1657). Humayun, Jahangir and Shah Jahan were great lovers of art and they together created the golden century Moghul India. Never before or after, India has experienced so much splendour. Arts like painting, carpet- making, architecture, jade cutting and music flourished. Akbar even criticized his own religion `Islam` and created his own religion, the Din Ilahi or the Divine Religion. The scholar Mubarak, several of his courtiers and his son Abu`l-Fazl, elaborated the details of this religion. Nobody knew exactly what he believed except that his own ego was very important to him. He was least concerned of the petty dogmas of religion. He knew that the religious differences in India were the cause of innumerable wars. His main concern was to retain peace. He never had any prejudice towards any religion. He treated the Christians, Hindus and the Muslims equally. He was known as the mystic emperor of India. Actually, he was more Hinduistic than Islamic. He had a tolerant attitude towards all religions.

Akbar`s great-grandson Aurangzeb was the last great emperor of the Moghul dynasty. He came to the throne after killing his three brothers and their sons in a series of battles. He even imprisoned his father Shahjahan for nine years (1657-1666). Actually, he was intoxicated by power and he could not tolerate any barriers that came in his way. He had won the praise of all Muslim historians because he was an orthodox Muslim who sought to impose Islamic law in all its details. This aroused opposition in the subcontinent, which was engulfed with people belonging to different religions. Two non-Islamic religions, namely the Sikhs and the Marathas, survived his reign, as did the Rajputs. In 1669, Aurangzeb destroyed two of the greatest temples, one in Mathura, which is dedicated to Vishnu and the other in Varnasi, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. After his death in 1707, war erupted in the country as a result of the fire he has ignited when he lived. His four sons disputed for the throne and amongst the four, the one who first reached Agra with the treasure chamber won because he could buy weapons, pay soldiers, bribe officials, and behave munificently to the nobles. Finally, the winner was Shah Alam Bahadur. But he did not live long to rule his crime-won empire. He died in 1712. After his death, his three sons began yet another war for succession. This time also the winner did not have long life and he died in 1713 and after which his successor was murdered in 1719. The splendor of the Moghul Empire was dead.

In 1739, Nadir Shah, ruler of Persia, invaded India. He routed the imperial army and staged a massacre in Delhi. He plundered the land and went to Iran with immense wealth; he even took away the imperial peacock throne, which is still in Tehran. Soon the states made themselves independent. In 1757, Robert Clive won the battle of Plassey and as a result became the master of Bengal. It marked the beginning of modern era in India.
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